Hope springs eternal around town for the Jets these days. But the suits at Amazon are not buying the cautious optimism surrounding Zach Wilson’s second season.
NBC’s Peter King had an interesting NFL scheduling nugget tucked into his Monday morning column: Amazon specifically asked for a Packers home game to be part of its new Thursday Night Football package on its Prime Video streaming service, as it hopes to have College Gameday-esque pregame coverage. The NFL was more than happy to oblige. And then the Jets got involved, and Amazon was not satisfied.
The NFL was going to give Amazon one Packers game. Amazon felt a Packers home game was a must, to show the pageantry of Green Bay tailgaiting, etc. The computers did what the league asked — Amazon would have a Thursday home game at some point of the season. Late in the process, 92 percent of the schedules spat out by the computers had Jets-Packers as the Green Bay home game.
Nice, but not great. Couldn’t the league, maybe, find a better foe for the Packers, one that might make this a hotly contested game for 60 minutes? So [the Tennessee Titans were] put in the Week 11 Thursday slot, traveling to Green Bay. A gift.
So the NFL has the Titans going to Green Bay in Week 11 for Thursday Night Football. They then host the Cowboys on Thursday night in Week 17, giving Tennessee (and Dallas) two short-week Thursday games this coming season. But the Cowboys are doubling up on short weeks for the sake of their Thanksgiving tradition. The Titans are just doing it because Amazon didn’t want to have the Jets interfere with their cherished Packers date. A bit different.
Moreover, are we sure the Titans will be all that much better than the Jets? They just traded A.J. Brown away and Ryan Tannehill came back to Earth last year. Throw in a shaky offensive line and the inevitable quarterback controversy with Malik Willis and this could easily be a step-back season, even if the defense remains stout. It’s not like Amazon flipped the Jets into the Cowboys or Patriots here.
Amazon will be still stuck with the Jets though. Their lone primetime game this season will be a Thursday nighter against the Jaguars in Week 16.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]